When criticism and harsh words arise within a Bahá’í community there is no remedy except to put the past behind one and persuade all concerned to turn over a new leaf, and, for the sake of God and His Faith, refrain from mentioning the subjects which have led to misunderstanding and inharmony. The more the friends argue back and forth and maintain, each side, that their point of view is the right one, the worse the whole situation becomes. (Shoghi Effendi, Directives of the Guardian, pp. 17-18)
There are 2 important issues for me in this quote: the first is how to handle hurt feelings arising from criticism and harsh words and here we have 3 concrete actions to take:
- put the past behind us
- persuade everyone involved to turn over a new leaf (perhaps by suggesting we say a prayer, and/or focus on being loving and forgiving and patient with the changes that take time)
- refrain from mentioning the subjects which have led to misunderstanding and inharmony either to anyone else or in the future.
The second part of the quote is the one which is so incredibly important and I don’t think we pay enough attention to it: the more we argue back and forth and maintain that our point of view is the right one, the worse the whole situation becomes. ‘
Abdu’l-Bahá, (Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 56) goes even farther in saying:
If two souls quarrel and contend about a question of the divine questions, differing and disputing, both are wrong.
When our egos get in the way, and we want to always be right, we prevent unity and delay the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth.
Knowing I don’t have to be right all the time, I can relax and for that, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Criticizing Others